After graduating from high school at Burke’s, Lynn Bunim ’64 went to UC Berkeley. She recalls: “What a shock it was to go from a girls’ school with 30 in my graduating class to UC with nearly 30,000 students on campus!”
She went on to become a Coro Fellow, received a Master of Arts Degree and became one of the first women hired as management at Pacific Telephone (now AT&T). In that role, she participated in the breakup of the Bell Telephone System and helped make PacBell Park (now AT&T Park) a reality. Lynn lives in San Francisco with her husband Alexander Fetter, a retired Stanford physics professor. She raised two daughters as a single parent and has four grandchildren.
When you were a student at Burke’s, what did you dream you’d be doing at this point in your life?I didn’t dream past going to college. Remember, it was 1964. And while Burke’s was fully committed to given us the finest education possible, there wasn’t a single conversation I can recall about what we might do with our educational training after college. The expectation was that you would graduate from college, get married, have a family and maybe be a teacher or nurse. There were no career-planning discussions or mentors for Burke’s students back then.
What is your favorite international city?Paris. It is great in all ways…culture, architecture, cuisine, style, and romance for starters. You name a quality, it just seems better if it is in Paris!
Who was your favorite teacher at Burke’s?Hands down, Miss Haydock, our math teacher and much, much more was my favorite! She came to Burke’s two years before my own mother, Jane Triest Burrows ’39, was born, and taught her 25 years before she was my teacher. Miss Haydock never changed, so I learned. This tall, lean, stern-looking teacher had a way of always letting you know she was rooting for you to “get it,” whether it was a tough algebraic equation or a tricky geometry problem. And when you did, she was the first to cheer you on with a big smile. Miss Haydock was a woman ahead of her time, who must be smiling at all the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs for young women.
Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party and why? My guests would be Katherine Delmar Burke, Barbara Burke, the Distinguished Alumnae Award recipients and selected members of the current Board of Trustees and Alumnae Board. Why? I would love to see the faces and hear the reactions from the first two Burke’s School principals, while they hear the stories of what graduates have been doing and are dreaming to do in the 21st century.
What advice would you give to a current Burke’s student?Dream! Dream big! And when you make your dream come true, create a new dream and go after it. Given the longevity of women today, current Burke’s students can pretty much count on having multiple opportunities to reinvent themselves. While I didn’t dream about where I would be at this point in my life when I was at Burke’s, in recent years I have been dreaming about what legacy I want to leave behind. Working to make those dreams a reality keeps me young!
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.